The last few weeks of life have been....interesting.
I have had a major attack of the migraines.
No, not "I had a migraine", but I have many many migraines over a series of weeks. They started as cluster migraines that lasted two weeks. (Cluster migraines are where you get lots of migraines one after the other without respite). I was in bed for most of that two weeks and was prescribed many pills - none of which worked. Since then I have become unemployed due to my poor health and my migraines have fallen into a pattern of one day on, one day off. It has been a month of pain, doctors visits, and sheer frustration. I have now been referred to a neurologist as the doctors are out of ideas.
Though this state of affairs kinda sucks, I am just taking it all a day at a time and hoping for the the migraines to stop as quickly as they started. I am following doctors advice, and looking after myself.
Migraines are NOT headaches and this blog is for those of you who have never had a migraine.
I have come up with the 4 steps of my migraines so that those of you who are interested can know what I go through and why I keep cancelling my hang outs with you. Enjoy.
Stage 1: Jedi Knight Light Sabers in my Eye.
I may be sitting quietly, out with my hubby, or at church, and all of a sudden those sneaky Jedi will start attacking my left eye with an invisible light saber. It feels like a painful, sharp, hot, agonising pain that goes through my pupil, into the back of my eye socket and out the back of the left side of my head. This pain gives me a half hour warning before I need to be in bed. I have time to get home, take pills and get ready for stage 2-4.
Stage 2: The Ochestra
Stage 2 can often happen at the same time as stage 1, or very soon after, but can also be delayed, which is why it gets its very own section.
At this point my left eye is fighting off the Jedi attack, when the world suddenly becomes very noisy. For some reason, everything sounds at the same level of loudness. The bird in the distance is now as loud as the person talking next to me. The banging of the hammer down the street is as booming as the bass of hubby's music in the next room. Because everything is now one level of noise, it is hard, if not impossible, to follow conversation. I find myself squinting from eye pain and focusing so intently on the person talking to me that I must look like some sort of Quasimodo trying to ingraitiate themselves into society. This leveling out of all noise can be accompanied by a woodpecker in my ear drum - just to add to the fun - which does its best to split my ear drum open. This makes it even harder to hear anything going on around me. If I am not home by the time this starts happening, then I am about to be in for a orld of pain.
Stage 3: Just Kill Me and Be Done With It
Absolute, complete, brain implosion.
The pressure will build in my head to the point where I actually fantasize about drilling into my own skull to release it.
My eyes won't cope with any light so I have to have a blanket over my eyes to block out even the little bit that shines through my eyelids.
A team of Irish dancers will move into my stomach to rehearse 'Lord of the Dance' and I will feel queasy and ill.
My left and right side of my brain will takes turns lobbing bombs at the other in a suicidal attempt at self destruction.
Any noise will make my head feel like it is splintering and any movement will make me feel like I am on a boat in the middle of a storm.
If, for what ever reason, I have to move my legs are weak and rubbery and walking is an effort.
Talking becomes a monumental task as my words slur and my brain forgets simple syntax and 90% of my vocabulary.
For anywhere from 1-24 hours, I will feel like death would be preferable to what I am experiencing.
Stage 4: Run Over by a Bus
The migraine is not the end of the story.
The recovery can be long and tedious. My brain will feel bruised for some time (the more intense stage 3 is, the longer this will last). My thinking is slow and sluggish. My body is exhausted. I will be able to sleep for whole days at a time as I recover from the trauma my brain just went through.
Rinse and Repeat
If you remember that at the moment I am having a day-on-day-off cycle, then most of my life at the moment is in migraine or in recovery. I am exhausted most of the time and don't get a hell of a lot done. I am grumpy, frustrated and sore. I am sick of sleeping and yet still need to sleep ridiculous hours.
Though I am trying to be gentle on myself, it is a cycle that can bring me to tears and depression. I feel useless and fidgety, as well as angry and helpless.
So if you see me out and about, please note that it has taken me a huge amount of effort to do the small thing I may be doing.
And if I cancel on you - even repeatedly - please be gracious and know that I am not being lazy or blowing you off, but I will make it up to you when I am upright and human again.
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